How to use moringa powder 

There are a mijillion articles out there on why you should get on the moringa superfood bandwagon. (Just go for a Google spin.)  Here are two more reasons:

1. It grows locally in Senegal! You may hear it called ‘nebeday’.

2. It’s available at bargain prices from reputable sources! (I get mine from the BeerSheba Project, but there are several vendors each month at the Dakar Farmers Market.)

Personally I prefer the dried powdered leaves over eating it fresh or in other forms. But not all moringa powders are equal. Look for packaging that blocks out sunlight (foil, kraft paper) to protect nutrients. The powder should be BRIGHT green, never dull or olive which is a sign that it’s old.

If you’re new to the moringa party, start with just 1 teaspoon a day. Over 2-3 weeks you can work up to 1 Tablespoon a day, and for this is plenty for an adult. Moringa is safe for little ones too, but be sure not to give them too much too soon. It’s like eating loads of leafy greens all at once. Give your body time to adjust.

So how can you eat it?

1. Stir it into yogurt just before eating it. I highly recommend Club Dolima for your yogurt.

2. Whisk in scrambled eggs or an omelette just before cooking.

3. Mix with peanut butter (or Nutella!) before spreading on crêpes, bread, etc…

4. Add with the sauce when making macaroni and cheese. This works for for stovetop or baked recipes.

5. Put the powder in a shaker and test on whatever you’re eating. Spaghetti, burgers, pizza… Go easy, just a sprinkle at first. See what works for you!

10 things to know: Le Colorado

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1. Pasta perfection.
I’m not Italian and I don’t pretend to be a pasta expert, but I do know what I like and I loved all three pastas I’ve had at le Colorado, particularly the slightly spicy seafood linguine. Yum.

2. I like it hot.
Speaking of spicy, their Diavolo pizza is my (current) favorite with its hot sausage, garlic and piment pepper. It’s got just enough kick but the flavors blend well together.

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3. BTW, it’s Italian.
The name ‘Colorado’ may confuse Americans at first, but be assured this is a 100% Italian restaurant.

4. There are other fish in their sea.
Le Colorado is more than pasta & pizza. (Although, let’s be honest… That’s enough most days.) They also do excellent seafood, like their amazing thiof.

5. Kindness and humility.
One thing I notice is the attitude of a restaurant’s owner. Alessandro and his lovely wife give a warm welcome and speak passionately about their food, but one thing that struck me was how kindly he spoke of other restaurants (even those that could be seen as competitors). Their confidence comes through in humility, not it putting others down. Well done.

6. Facebook geniuses.
Remember that post I did on 5 things restaurants in Dakar need to know? Le Colorado could give lessons on how to do your Facebook page well. Clear, informative and updated weekly. Two emoji thumbs up.

7. Smartbook gets you 30% off!
Use your Smartbook Senegal to get 30% off your meal at Le Colorado on your first visit, then 10% off all other visits.

8. Karelle eats there.
We walked in and I saw one of my favorite food bloggers having lunch. Great sign.

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9. They deliver via Jumia Food.
I’ve been burned by delivery services in Dakar. A lot. I haven’t tested Jumia enough (yet!) to give an educated opinion, but I can say that the two times… uh, in the last week… that I’ve ordered pizzas from Le Colorado via the Jumia app on my phone, it went smoothly and deliciously.

10. Tiramisu.
Light, rich and creamy. Heavenly. And don’t forget the espresso to go with it.

Le Colorado
Find them on Facebook.
Located in Point E near the little Hypermarché and the Pharmacie du Point E.
Tel: 33 824 4280

5 things Dakar restaurants need to know

1. Your restaurant needs a Facebook page. That’s great if you have a website and even better if you’re on other social media platforms, but the number one way customers are trying to find out about you is via Facebook. Plus it’s free and easy to use.

2. I said page. Not a Facebook profile, but a page. With a profile, we have to friend you in order to see your restaurant’s information and updates. (And that also means that you can now see all my personal info and photos – No. I refuse to friend businesses because I don’t know who has access to your profile.) Pages are for businesses. Profiles are for people.

3. At a minimum, your restaurant’s Facebook page should have a phone number (that someone actually answers!), hours of operation and your menu.

4. You really should use your page. Add photos, your daily specials, your upcoming events… It doesn’t have to be fancy, but it does need to be frequent or potential customers wonder if you’re still open.

5. Get on Instagram. Or at least create an account for your restaurant so that customers can tag it in photos and generate publicity without you lifting a finger! IYou can ask for permission to repost customer’s IG photos of your restaurant and boom… quick and easy marketing just barely lifting a finger.

But seriously. Lose the Facebook profile and get a page. 

 

Africa Gourmet’s wines

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When I received the invitation to go to Africa Gourmet for a little wine tasting and to get to know the shop, I was immediately super intimidated. (I used to live in France. I’ve done my time at being the wine idiot at the table, okay?) But on the other hand… how could I pass this up? And I had been complaining that I didn’t know where to go in Dakar for a decent wine selection.

So I accepted, and took a friend along to help me out if I got stuck and had nothing ‘gourmet’ enough to ask or say about the wines. Brilliant move. We had such a great time! Africa Gourmet is owned and operated by very knowledgeable, very friendly, super down-to-earth (wait for it) Senegalese women. We were immediately put at ease and had a lovely evening chatting and learning.

What is Africa Gourmet? Well, it’s a wine shop located in Ngor just across from the stadium. They carry mostly French wines but also wines from the US, Australia, South Africa, Chile, Switzerland, Spain, Corsica, Italy… All of their wines are delivered by refrigerated container in order to meet the requirements of the producers. They have wines for every budget (really!) and can deliver anywhere in Dakar, right away and any day. So if you get in a pinch before dinner or have a last-minute party and you don’t want to show up empty handed – boom. Call Africa Gourmet.

5 things to know, courtesy of Martine at Africa Gourmet 

1. In Senegal, store all your wines in the fridge. Even if they are too chilled, they’ll warm up quickly as you pull them out to serve.

2. Mise en bouteille à la propriété. Look for this when choosing wine. It means that the wine was produced by a single person so you can count on its quality because they have put their name and reputation behind it. (Also mis en bouteille au chateau or even mis en bouteille au domaine.) A good bottle will have all the information on it. Even if you don’t understand exactly what the label says, details are a good sign.

3. There is a coupon for Africa Gourmet in the 2017 Smartbook! Buy 5 bottles, the 6th is free. Also 10% off every purchase.

4. Wine tastings are available for groups of 12 or more. (Highly recommended!)

5. Africa Gourmet also has a location in Saly and they deliver as well.

Africa Gourmet
Located across from the Ngor Stadium.
Tel: 33 820 97 57
Find them on Facebook.
Open 11am-9pm Monday thru Saturday.
English spoken.

Recipe: My marinara sauce

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I’ve already made the Italian readers mad once before when I posted my recipe for Buutik Tiramisu, which was apparently too far off form the original to even be considered tiramisu. 🙂 But you know what, I’m going to risk it again by sharing my recipe for this AMAZING marinara sauce… and it only takes 15 minutes.

We all know I’m not Italian. But my mom used to make marinara sauce every day in our kitchen for an Italian-owned and operated restaurant using their heirloom recipe, so I spent years (or so it felt) of my time with my hands in garlic and basil and crushed tomatoes. My family knows a little something about marinara, okay?


So here it goes…

1 lg can crushed tomatoes
4-5 cloves garlic, crushed
1/2 tsp dried oregano
1/2 tsp dried thym
pinch of salt
splash of balsamic vinegar
fat drizzle of honey
small fistful of fresh basil leaves, snipped
splash of olive oil

In a heavy pan (cast iron if you have it), heat the olive oil over medium. Add the crushed garlic and stir, cooking until just barely yellow. Don’t let it burn! Add in the tomatoes, oregano, thyme, salt, balsamic vinegar and honey. Stir and let simmer over low heat for 10 minutes. Add the fresh basil and let cook a few more minutes.

That is all. (Unless you want to add 1-2 cube of frozen puréed spinach, like I do…)

Makes amazing sauce for pizza, spaghetti, lasagne, breadsticks…

Mawa’s Taste of America… now in Ouakam!

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Mawa’s Taste of America restaurant is back! And it is now located in Ouakam/Mamelles, across from the Supermarché Mon Prix which is down at the roundabout at the entrance of the Monument de la Renaissance. Look for a big orange building on the left.

They are currently serving dinner on Monday thru Saturday starting at 5pm, brunch on weekends from 10am to 3pm and starting February 20th will add a lunch service from noon to 3pm. 

Based on what I’ve had from their menu, I can highly recommend the fried chicken, cole slaw, Cajun pinto beans and rice (yum!), wings of every variety, steak fried steak and eggs, chicken & waffle, shrimp & grits, sausage gravy and biscuit (where I’m from in Georgia, ‘biscuit’ is both the singular and plural form) and I’ve heard the chicken and dumplings are better than your mom’s.

Mawa’s Taste of America
Find them on Facebook. (Also a map on their FB page)
Tel: 33 860 10 09

And watch a clip from CNN on Mawa’s restaurant here!